We’re not yet able to keep our own pigs so this year we were lucky enough to get a beautiful cross breed Cinta Senese (considered the finest pork in Italy) free range pig from a nearby farm and we were very much looking forward to all the delicious porky products that we could get from the 145kg animal.
It’s a big task, and as little 4 month old Giorgio’s knife skills are not yet fully developed, we roped in a friend who wanted to learn about the process. While the snowy countryside around was flooded with sunshine, we gathered together knives, chopping boards, herbs and casings for sausages and masses of salt for preserving one of the back legs as prime Italian prosciutto and then the stage was set for the mammoth job.
First the carcass needed breaking down into the main parts and soon racks of ribs for slow roasting were revealed along with beautiful long fillets for preserving as lonzo and for using in quick fry dishes. The belly was divided up for no less than seventeen chunks of bacon and ten yummy belly roasts and then it was down to the job of mincing 40kg of meat for salami, chorizo (not strictly Italian I know, but we like to keep things international sometimes!), sausages for drying and English style fresh sausages to be flavoured with quince from a friend’s garden and mixed herbs.
In all it’s taken a good couple of days to fill our cellar and freezer and still we have pots of stock bubbling away on the stove – phew!
We love to share this experience with people so if it’s something that might appeal to you, please do get in touch to find out more details about how you can book a winter break to learn about all the things you can do with a pig!
Photo showing Italian sausages ready for drying and piles of mince for English sausages ready to be mixed with herbs and quince.